Hoboken Councilman Bhalla takes Twitter troll to task after ‘terrorist’ remark


Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla took a Twitter troll to task yesterday after being called a “terrorist,” responding that “you clearly don’t know what it means to be American.” Ravi Bhalla

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

After Bhalla sent out a tweet celebrating a newly passed measure he introduced to the city council regarding a multi-path on the waterfront, Twitter user Robert Dubenezic – an open supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – expressed shock that Bhalla was a councilman.

“How the hell did Hoboken allow the guys to be councilman? Shouldn’t even be allowed in the U.S. #terrorist,” he tweeted back.

Bhalla, who is Sikh, was quick to answer, exclaiming “Sir, I am born and raised in America. You clearly don’t know what it means to be American … #ignorant.”

Bhalla tweet

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a close friend and political ally of Bhalla, and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) were just a couple of many who spoke out in support of Bhalla.

“Hoboken stands w/Ravi & I have never been prouder than day we were elected as a team. Your hatred is reprehensible,” wrote Zimmer.

“In a world still full of ignorance and racism, I’m proud to see Americans like @RaviBjalla stand for what’s right,” Coleman chimed in.

Responding to dozens of other tweets in the aftermath, Dubenezic stood by his initial tweet, stating he had no intentions of apologizing and in one instance, when someone noted that his last name is not American, he retorted “no towel on my head.”

Bhalla was first elected to the council in 2009 and was re-elected in 2013. He is expected to seek a third term in next November.

Zimmer tweet

Watson tweet

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  1. Media and City of Hoboken public conduct is reprehensible. Here is the reverse hatred they incited… “shifty eastern slav, go back to Poland, slack jawed yokel, obese manbaby…” A NY newpaper even took the step of geolocating the racist.

      • read comments on nj.com article of numerous responses citing responsibility of both media and city. identifying personal info and inciting hatred toward the guy is every bit as bad and worse than a simple remark. Potential ways a mature and responsible person would handle are described rather than taking a vigilante approach.

        • You can read the city’s “vigilante approach” above.

          “Hoboken stands with Ravi.” Ok so far? Does that sound like a lynch mob forming?

          “Your hatred is reprehensible.” Don’t agree? It *isn’t* reprehensible to call someone a terrorist simply for wearing a turban?

          Once again you are so bent on attacking the mayor and city of Hoboken that you give precious little thought to how you do it. There are policies and other choices you could go after. But instead you have made yourself a great gift to the mayor by making her critics look like utter buffoons.

          She should probably pay you.